I have been eagerly anticipating this book for the last year (ever since I finished Froi of the Exiles). Melina Marchetta is one of my favorite authors and she has created a magical series with the Lumatere Chronicles. In this finale, Quintana and Froi have been separated. Quintana is pregnant and hiding out in the Monts’ Valley with Phaedra and Froi is recovering from his wounds with Arujo. Froi is frantic to find Quintana and keep her and their little king safe. He scours the entire Charyn countryside trying to find her. Back in Lumatere, Finnickin and Isaboe are expecting their second child and trying not to get caught up in the Charyn chaos.
I really wish I would have reread atleast Froi before tackling Quintana since it has been so long between them. Marchetta is not an author who recaps all her previous books, which I like, but there is a lot going on and a lot of people and events to remember. This book is all about the connections between the characters, both politically and familially. Can Isaboe let go of her hatred of Charyn to help Quintana? Can the people of Charyn unite and form a more stable, hospitable country? Will Quintana and Froi ever be together? Will the Little King bring peace?
I am sad to see the end of this series, but I can’t wait to read what Marchetta comes up with next. I am also going to reread the entire trilogy sometime when I have a free minute! These characters are so wonderfully written and the world so detailed that it is really hard to leave them behind.
In the “perfect” society of Quill, those who don’t follow the exact rules or meet the highest qualifications are weeded out when they reach thirteen. They are taken to the outer wall of the kingdom, through a gate always kept locked from the inside, and handed to some enormous Eliminators to be thrown into the Boiling Lake of Oil. Alex and the others knew they were doomed, but were very surprised to be welcomed by a giant flying tortoise and Mr.Today. They actually had escaped from a land of black and white with stiff rules to a colorful place where people were enjoyed and taught many magic and creative activities that would eventually save their lives. Alex missed his twin, Aaron, who was a Wanted in Quill, but visited him in dreams, hoping to someday bring him here to Artime. There are many surprises and lots of exciting experiences – good booki!
When Roland’s teacher gives him an unusual assignment instead of punishment for shoplifting, he thinks he is home free. All he has to do is find out what he can about a classmate, Jess Ferret, and report back to his teacher. But there is something less than straightforward about this request, especially because the more Roland learns about Jess, the more confused he becomes. Her house is sinisterly tidy, her parents are never home, mysterious books line the bookshelves, and, most intriguing of all, Jess is apparently a student of alchemy. Why is Roland’s teacher so interested in Jess? Why has a shady magician from Roland’s past suddenly come back into his life? What exactly are the voices in Roland’s head cautioning him against? And what is the reason for Jess Ferret’s knowledge about alchemy? In searching for answers Roland finds himself trapped in a mysterious web of magic, power, and greed. This is the story of a terrifying war of magic versus willpower, told only as award-winning author Margaret Mahy can.
Wednesdays in the Tower picks up after the events of Tuesdays at the Castle. Celie finds an egg in a new tower of the castle, which when it hatches turns out to be a griffin. Rufus, the griffin, imprints on Celie and the Castle obviously only wants Celie to take care of it. While Celie is trying to raise a griffin and find out everything she can about the history of griffins in Castle Glower, the Castle is busy making changes. Instead of just changing on Tuesdays and because of the needs of the inhabitants, the Castle starts bringing in more and more new rooms. A prickly wizard is also poking around the Castle and seems to know more than what he should.
I love this series, but if there is one thing I can’t stand it is a cliffhanger. And this book ends on a doozy! I literally exclaimed (insert appropriate words here!) out loud when I realized I had reached the end of the book and there was no resolution. You have a love a castle that has a mind of its own and is magical. I really enjoyed the fact that we learn more about the Castle’s history and what brought it to Sleyne. I thoroughly enjoy this series and would recommend it to anyone.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley.com.
Scottish Play Doe (Scott) moves to the town of Goodco with his mom. He meets Erno and Emily who’s foster father Mr. Wilson also works for Goodco. Erno and Emily are given tests by Mr. Wilson that they think of as fun games, but in reality are tests for Goodco. Goodco is an evil cereal company who does tests on children, steals magic from mythical creatures, and wants to rule the world. Scott starts seeing the mythical creatures around him after Mick, a clericaun/leprechaun, tries to steal his backpack. Mr. Wilson disappears and Erno, Emily and Scott go on the run from Goodco with Biggs (Erno and Emily’s nanny and a bigfoot). They have to figure out what Goodco is up to and survive.
I loved Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday. I thought it was hilarious and genius. So I was a little disappointed in Cold Cereal. It was interesting and funny, but it was a little disjointed and strange. I really enjoyed the kids and their story. I didn’t even mind all the mythical creatures like Mick and Harvey, but Goodco was a little much for me. It was kind of funny how unnatural their cereals were (Burlap Krisps anyone) and the fact that they used magic to make everything. I think it lost me when the secret society came into play and then Merlin and the Lady of the Lake arrived. At that point it went from over the top to completely ridiculous.
I don’t remember if I ever read this award winning children’s book but it does explain a few things about the disappearance of items in your home. How many times have you misplaced something and found it in a completely different spot? Have you walked down your hallway and felt a warm spot? Does your elderly aunt talk to herself? You may have a family of Borrowers in your house. They are harmless and are in danger of being seen by “a human bean”. Arrietty is the young daughter of the Clock family, they live under the clock, and she is seen by a young boy. He is a nice bean but the adults in the house are not. Arrietty wants to live outdoors where she can run and enjoy the flowers. She may get her wish.
Sybella has been living with the d’Albert family for six months now. The only reason she took this mission was the promise from the abbess that d’Albert would be marqued and she would be able to kill him. But he isn’t marked and she gets a new assignment. She must rescue the Beast of Worloch before d’Albert kills him. Of course things don’t go as planned and Sybella finds herself on the run with Beast instead of killing d’Albert. Once Sybella gets Beast back to the Duchess she becomes part of the inner circle. How far will Sybella go to protect the Duchess? What will the others think when they find out her secrets? And most importantly, will Beast forgive her all the lies she has told?
I really enjoy this series. It is so different, part historical fiction, part fantasy, and a whole lot of fun. Grave Mercy was very intriguing with a convent of assassins and political intrigue. This is a much more intimate story. It is Sybella’s story. We find out what sent her to the convent in the first place, her tragic family story and how she questions herself and the darkness within her. This is her story of redemption and triumph over her dark beginnings. She embraces who she is and in the process finds herself and her future. I loved Sybella’s journey, especially since it involved Beast who is just awesome. I really can’t wait for the next book.
The further adventures of druid, Atticus O’Sullivan, his apprentice Granuaile and faithful wolfhound, Oberon. For twelve years Atticus has been training Granuaile and the world believes he has died. Now that he has to come out into the open to bind Granuaile to the earth and complete her training as a druid a whole host of supernatural beings are upset that he’s still alive.
The protagonist Tara Martin disappeared 20 years ago. When she returns she claims she spent 6 months in Faery. Her family and boyfriend have been devastated by her disappearance and respond in various ways to her tale. I’m Not sure this really belongs in SciFi, since the focus is more on the internal psychological world than the magical aspects.
So I liked a lot of the book, but unlike many other reviewers could see the ending from a mile away (well not the epilogue part). Perhaps, it reminded me of the book “Giants of the Frost” by Kim Wilkins.
When Sybella first arrived at the convent, she was a traumatized young girl. After four years of training, Sybella can now truly serve as one of St. Mortain’s handmaidens. Those who train in the convent become expert assassins and Sybella is no exception. When our story begins, Sybella is undercover at the D’Albret estate. More specifically, Sybella is undercover in her own childhood home. She’s been sent there by the abbess to gain valuable intel on D’Albret’s treasonous plans to either marry or assassinate the young duchess who is struggling to keep Brittany independent of the French. D’Albret’s treachery and brutality know no bounds and Sybella is painfully aware of just how far he is capable of going. When Sybella manages to get the duchess out of a secret attack, one of the duchess’s fighters – a knight known as the infamous Beast of Waroch – is taken prisoner by D’Albret and sent to the dungeons. Sybella is then tasked with freeing him so that he can get back to fight for the duchess against the French and the country’s own treasonous troops. What was meant to be a simple rescue mission turns into a full-fledged journey and Sybella find her plans to kill D’Albret thwarted once again. What’s more, she can no longer return now that the Beast is missing too. Instead, Sybella must deviate from her own mission of vengeance in order to help keep her country out of the hands of both D’Albret and the French. Oh, and she’s got some pretty dark secrets that could potentially change everything.
Every bit as intriguing as the first book in the series, Dark Triumph is a pleasure to read. Readers will come to root for Sybella as she faces trial after trial. The Beast is a fantastic character and a wonderful foil to Sybella. I kind of wished I could have seen more of Ismae in this one, but I do recall being very curious about Sybella, so it was interesting to have her perspective. I look forward to seeing what Annith will be up to in the next book.
This is going to be a difficult review for me to write as I am extremely conflicted regarding my feelings about this book. First things first: I’m a huge fan of Walter Moers and I’ve read everything of his that’s been translated into English. This is the sequel to City of Dreaming Books, which I adored. Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to this one ever since I found out that it even existed (and then I had to wait for the translation). So, there’s all that. When last we left our protagonist, Optimus Yarnspinner, he had been to Bookholm, become imbued with “orm” and had battled all manner of evils in the labyrinth only to see the city go up in flames along with the mythical Shadow King. Our story now picks up 200 year later (Lindworms like Yarnspinner evidently live very, very long lives). Yarnspinner has been resting on the laurels of his best-selling status for some time now. He’s churned out countless works, making him one of the most well-known authors in all of Zamonia. Thing is, the “orm” has left him and his works aren’t getting the reviews they once did. Yarnspinner could hang up his hat and live out the rest of his days in comfort, but he receives a most curious letter written in a style that could best be summed up as “pre-orm Yarnspinner-esque”. Yarnspinner realizes that while he didn’t write the letter, someone has gone to great lengths to get his attention, particularly because of the very last sentence: “The Shadow King lives”.
Yarnspinner heads back to Bookholm and runs into a couple of his old friends who have apparently conspired in some way to bring him back to the bookish city. So that’s the first few chapters. The rest? Yarnspinner’s musings and digressions on the “modern” Bookholm. Seriously, that’s pretty much it. Not that it isn’t entertaining to read, because it is. It’s really clever; almost painfully so. Observant readers may note that the names of all the authors, composers and artists mentioned are anagrams for real world counterparts (and yes, it all works in context as well). I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure them all out, not to mention the fact that I pestered my co-workers for days to get help on some of the trickier ones. I *did* feel pretty smart when I figured them out though. A bit exhausting though. And takes one out of the narrative, particularly when there’s a whole string of anagrams. There’s also a very “meta” feel to the whole thing as Yarnspinner revisits his experiences and engages in new experiences like puppetism. Yarnspinner even watches an entire puppet play of “City of Dreaming Books”, which is described in great detail.
The kicker, though, is at the end where Moer’s “translator’s” note indicates that he had to split the sequel into two halves (a la “Kill Bill”) because it would have been unwieldy otherwise. So, evidently, the rest of the plot will be happening in the third book. Which probably won’t be translated for another couple of years. All I can say is that it better be worth the effort of reading Labyrinth of Dreaming Books. Who am I kidding? I’ll totally read it either way.
After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is.
The children are soon discovered by their enemies, and a frantic chase sends Kate a hundred years into the past, to a perilous, enchanted New York City. Searching for a way back to her brother and sister, she meets a mysterious boy whose fate is intricately—and dangerously—tied to her own.
Meanwhile, Michael and Emma have set off to find the second of the Books of Beginning. A series of clues leads them into a hidden world where they must brave harsh polar storms, track down an ancient order of warriors, and confront terrible monsters. Will Michael and Emma find the legendary book of fire—and master its powers—before Kate is lost to them forever?
Exciting, suspenseful, and brimming with humor and heart, the next installment of the bestselling Books of Beginning trilogy will lead Kate, Michael, and Emma closer to their family—and to the magic that could save, or destroy, them all.
Called “A new Narnia for the tween set” by the New York Times and perfect for fans of the His Dark Materials series, The Emerald Atlas brims with humor and action as it charts Kate, Michael, and Emma’s extraordinary adventures through an unforgettable, enchanted world.
These three siblings have been in one orphanage after another for the last ten years, passed along like lost baggage.
Yet these unwanted children are more remarkable than they could possibly imagine. Ripped from their parents as babies, they are being protected from a horrible evil of devastating power, an evil they know nothing about.
Before long, Kate, Michael, and Emma are on a journey through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of allies and enemies, of magic and mayhem. And—if an ancient prophesy is correct—what they do can change history, and it is up to them to set things right.
Katrina Katrell has a lot of imagination, which unfortunately her guardian Mrs. Krabone can not stand. She has finally had enough and invites Dr. LeFang, the Lobotomy Doc, to take care of Katrina. Katrina decides to run away (understandably). Mortimer Yorgle, or Morty for short, is a Zorgle from Underwood Bluff. His pop is a great explorer and adventure, but Morty likes to stay close to home. Unfortunately, he receives a lottery ticket for the lottery draw. This draw is not for cash or prizes, but for adventure and quest. The Zorgles of Zorgamazoo have vanished and Morty is given the task of finding them. Along the way he meets Katrina and they decide to do the task together. What they discover will shock and amaze you. It is all about boredom and tedium and all things gray.
It takes a lot of creativity and guts to write an entire novel in rhyme, but Zorgamazoo is worth it. Katrina is just what you want in a spunky, young heroine, and Morty just seems so lovable and courageous. The others in the story are equally imaginative and fun. This is a wonderful adventure story and would definitely be fun to read aloud.
Liza wakes up one morning and realizes her brother Patrick is not her brother. His soul has been stolen by the Spindlers. No one believes her, but she knows she has to get Patrick back. Liza journeys below into a a fantastical world of amazing creatures. She befriends a rat named Mirabella, who promises to help her find the Spindlers’ nest. The journey is not without its dangers and Liza and Mirabella have to pass many tests in order to save Patrick and make it back to the surface.
I thought this was a great adventure story. Liza is a wonderfully spunky heroine and really who doesn’t love a rat that wears lipstick? Liza and Mirabella make a great team in this creepy world Oliver has created. I loved all the other creatures down below and the Spindlers were truly CREEPY! I definitely don’t want them to get my soul. I listened to the audio of this book and it was great. The narrator did a wonderful job telling the story.
In the conclusion, the third book in this 2nd trilogy of the Nine Kingdoms, Sarah and Ruith battle their way past an astounding number of evil-doers. Sarah always retains this mousy-ness about her. Ruith thinks she’s oh so courageous, but she’s always hesitant, but insistent. I wonder if the author knew what she was going to do with all the various characters, some of the key players were introduced for the very first time in the second book of the trilogy. I much preferred the charismatic Morgan woman-warrior. Well I hope the 2nd book the the 3rd trilogy is as good as the 1st title in the 3rd trilogy, whenever it comes out.
Sasha has lost his mother and now his father is gone. He leaves the streets of Paris and wonders into the forest. In the forest he finds a talking cat. Sasha and the cat make their way through the mist until they come upon a circus tent. They join the Misty Circus. The circus master sends them on a journey to a land of witches where they meet a young blind witch. They convince her to join the circus as well.
This was a charming little book. Very short, but with lovely illustrations. It reminded me of the Brian Selznick books in a way. I was definitely left wanting more.
An entertaining satire of Armageddon. Like many soldiers/players, despite being on opposing team, after being stationed in the same area for millennia, demon Crowley & angel Aziraphale have developed a working relationship, finding that in some ways, that they have more in common with their counterpart in the field, than the higher-ups on their team. Both Crowley & Aziraphale have changed, more through their association with humans, than the influence of each other. Then Crowley is handed the baby AntiChrist. Demon Crowley realizes he doesn’t want the world to end, that he has enjoyed his time on this plane. Aziraphale grapples with the paradox of the AntiChrist, needing the AntiChrist’s presence in order to bring about the Grand Plan Armageddon, even though it means the destruction of the earth. Azirafale has also enjoyed his time on the earth, and dreads the boredom of heaven.
Then the AntiChrist goes missing having been mistakenly switched at birth.
Initially I wasn’t sure I was up for a dystopian narrative, however, Gaiman & Pratchett do a good job, razzing both sides. This was a delightful tale, with biting humor. I bet Gaiman & Pratchett really enjoyed writing this book.